British Foreign Policy Must-reads 5 June - 9 July: Brexit, US-UK, Trade, Baltics and Portugal
Apologies for the absence this past month. Travel, Munro bagging, and illness have kept me from compiling my weekly British foreign policy must-reads since early June. I’ll therefore keep this update to only 20 must-reads from June and the first week of July. The highlight of the past month had to be the anniversary (pictured) of the alliance between Portugal and the UK, the oldest such alliance in the world. Here's to another 650 years...
National mood — FT: Britain must break out of its doom loop. Brexit, Covid and terrible governments have left their scars but our national despondency is becoming a trap.
Brexit, TCA Review — UKICE: What might the review of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement actually be like? A review of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement is due to start in May 2026. With more attention now being given to what the review might look like, Simon Usherwood and David Moloney outline three paths that might be followed when it comes around.
Brexit, Future of UK-EU Relations — Tony Blair Institute: Moving Forward: The Path to a Better Post-Brexit Relationship Between the UK and the EU.
Brexit, Managing relations — IfG: Brexit is likely to stay “done” for some time yet. The Brexit reality is not quite as simple as Boris Johnson had claimed.
Brexit, fishing — Politico: How Brexit betrayed the UK fishing industry. Leaving the EU has cost British fishermen fish, money and jobs.
US-UK, The Atlantic Declaration — UKICE: The Atlantic Declaration: a win for Sunak? Stephen Hunsaker analyses the recent agreement reached between the UK and the US – which resolved to deepen the transatlantic relationship – suggesting that while it’s a far cry from a UK-US free trade agreement, Sunak will still be seeing it as a win.
US-UK — FT: Sunak’s courting of Biden marks a crucial new realism. The UK has at last avoided the twin traps of humiliation or dependent complicity with US presidents.
US-UK — FT: How British liberals turned American. In thought, speech and habit, the UK left has spurned Europe for the US.
UK and the Baltic — ICDS: British Power in Baltic Weather: The UK’s Role in Nordic-Baltic Security and UK-Estonia Defence Cooperation.
UK-EU cooperation and Ukraine — LSE blogs: The future of UK-EU security cooperation in the shadow of Ukraine. After an extended period of disengagement and mistrust, the UK seems to be re-engaging with its EU counterparts on security cooperation. But where might this lead? Benjamin Martill charts the fate of the post-Brexit security agreement from the aftermath of the referendum to the fallout from the invasion of Ukraine.
Trade — The Times: Global powers are rethinking trade — and Britain could be left behind.
Regulatory alignment — BBC: Follow EU regulation to keep costs low, says Ford boss. Britain should continue following EU car regulations to avoid extra costs for consumers, says the boss of Ford.
FDI — Bloomberg: UK Saw Foreign Investment Collapse After Brexit, UN Says. FDI inflows last year less than a fifth of pre-Covid average; New EU trade barriers and Covid lockdowns drive decline
FDI — Bloomberg: Britain’s Post-Brexit Policy Drift Alarms World’s Executives. Complaints from some of the world’s biggest companies highlights the UK’s deteriorating investment climate.
Rwanda deal — BBC: Rwanda asylum a risk to UK foreign policy, says ex-minister. The government's deal to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda risks "downgrading" UK foreign policy, a former cabinet minister has said.
Climate commitments — Bloomberg: UK Climate Progress Runs Off Track as Target Dates Draw Closer. Government moving too slowly to cut emissions, CCC report says. Half of areas analyzed by committee are deemed lagging.
Labour’s foreign policy — Guardian: Keir Starmer considers ditching Labour pledge to reinstate DfID. Exclusive: Dropping promise to restore Department for International Development would follow series of U-turns.
Labour’s foreign policy — FT: Labour party outlines vision for UK foreign policy overhaul. Shadow minister David Lammy announces measures aimed at protecting supply chains and improving EU relations.
Soft Power — BFPG: The Future of UK Soft Power: Building a Strategic Framework.